Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Pagosa Springs

My sister and brother-in-law closed out another chapter, moved out of the rental in Travis Heights, and moved to Colorado.
I flew up at the end of June, helped move a little, hiked a lot, and then flew Jim D. back to Austin. The flying part worked out perfectly weather wise. 4.9 hours both directions. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018



2017 American Eclipse!

Place holder for the eclipse trip writeup

Time Flies!

A year and a half since I posted. Too long. Way too many things, I'll try to remember some of them.

At the previous post, had just put Cav back into service after months of downtime due to engine issues. I put about 35 hours on the engine over the next 8 months. This included at least one trip to Port A (pre-hurricane), lots of local area TnG flights, and a trip to Nebraska for the eclipse. I'll post about that separately.

When I left for the eclipse I had just found out that the connecting rod bushings used in the overhaul were subject to an airworthiness directive from Lycoming. The trip to Nebraska would bring me home just under the hours specified in the AD for mandatory inspection. So off to Nebraska I went.

The log book shows I was down for 3 months (mostly waiting for the previously mentioned mechanic). Once I gave up waiting and did it myself (with oversight from other A&Ps on the field), I was back flying in 3 weeks. Had to take all four cylinders off, remove the connecting rods, and ship them to Colorado for inspection. All 4 were fine. All that for nothing as it turns out. First flight after reassembly was logged on 11/12/17. Since then another 40 hours. Got in some tailwheel time in the 170, and now have over 900 hours of flying.

All in all, despite the engine woes, life is treating me well.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A quick catch up post. On a break-in flight, flew to Stephenville to have lunch at the Hard 8.

Classic Texas Barbeque.

The Lake Travis High School mens varsity football team added a 6th star to the LT logo! They won the 2016 Texas 6A Division I state championship game. I've been watching the Cavaliers since the daughter started high school. It's a pure pleasure to watch these teams play, they are so good. This has to be one of the best teams. In fact they were rated #1 in the state, and #5 in the country by MaxPreps. We've seen many good quarterbacks (and the rest of the positions, too!) starting with Todd Reesing, Garret Gilbert, Michael Brewer, Baker Mayfield, and now Charlie Brewer. Charlie now owns the US record for passing completion percentage. Wow!

And so we took the granddaughters to the victory parade. Katrin was a fitting part of the legacy. She earned lots of looks from the other kids curious about her old school band letter jacket. The grand daughters had a great time. They both were a bit overwhelmed. Sage went home with a bag full of candy tossed from the parade vehicles.

You're a big deal when the Batmobile is in your parade.

The Lady Cav golfers are also the State Champs!

Way over the top.

Flew safety pilot for Dave Kaplan. We flew to Palacios and started an approach there, but it was too socked in and we went missed very early. From there we flew to Gulf Coast Regional outside of Lake Jackson. I've been wanting to visit since there is a diner on the field, the Runway Cafe. The cheeseburger hit the spot.

Lots of other planes. What was going on? Just lunch as it turns out.

Leaving KLBX.

On the way home, the leading edge of the front had rolled through Austin. I was viewing the approaching clouds with apprehension, and the ADDS-B in was showing turbulence and icing airmets in areas we were about to fly through. Approach informed us that two small planes had to go around because of the 28 knot crosswinds at Bergstrom. We quickly came up with a plan B and decided to land at Smithville and figure out what to do. Lynne texted and asked if I was back. I called here and she said that Bee Cave had a huge gust of wind and rain, but it had already calmed down. After about 20 minutes of looking at the weather on the ground, Dave and I got back in the plane and flew back to KAUS. I'm happy to say that it was actually quite nice, with a docile wind on the runway, and no bone rattling turbulence.

Awesome view of COTA.

Short final.

Dramatic sky!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Back in Texas,  Cav with the stable mates, ready to go!

Christmas in the Great White North

For Christmas this year, the daughter asked if we could go with her to visit with her in laws. Josh mentioned that they used to rent cabins in northern Wisconsin when he was a kid. So Lynne and I flew to Chicago and rented a car for the week. First stop was overnight at their house in Inverness.

Next morning we drove to Eagle River, Wisconsin. The cabin was awesome and had plenty of room. The weather was perfect. Plenty of snow, but the driving was a piece of cake. It stayed below freezing most of the time we were in Wisconsin, so the snow never melted. And we got about 4 inches of snow on Christmas eve! Perfect!

The cabin was on one of the chain lakes. The lake was almost frozen, but not quite enough to go out on. Plenty of snow. We build a sledding ramp!

Christmas was very nice, they did a great job making it special for the kids.

Sage and her big brother.

Mike and Olive.

Sage and her big sister.

The day we left the weather warmed up just a bit, and the lake turned brown! Weird. .

After driving back from Wisconsin, we spent two nights in downtown Chicago. We stayed at the Acme Hotel, just two blocks from Chicago's Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue. We were right in the heart of downtown.

We had a great view out our window at the Acme Hotel .

Dinner at Eataly!

We walked around the city quite a bit. I'd been to the Chicago area a few times before, but never got to see the city like this. It was a bit cold, but not too bad.

The Adler Planetarium. We saw a very well done show on Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.

Pluto was discovered after the planetarium was constructed.